Professor Ève Morisi

(PhD Princeton University and Paris-Sorbonne)
Associate Professor of French, Fellow of


Ève Morisi’s research seeks to interrogate some of the intersections of poetics, politics and ethics in French and Francophone literature. Part of it focuses on the representations of extreme violence and resistance in both prose and poetry from the 19th century to the present day. Hugo and Baudelaire have been of particular interest for the 19th century; Camus and Algerian Francophone writers for the 20th and 21st centuries.

Her first book, Albert Camus contre la peine de mort (Gallimard, 2011; pref. by Robert Badinter), collected all of Camus’s writings on the death penalty. It includes previously-unpublished material and presents the writer’s defence of numerous men condemned to death during Franco’s dictatorship, WWII and the purges that marked the Libération in France, the Greek Civil War, the repression perpetrated in Eastern Europe under Stalinism, and the Algerian War of Independence. This volume was the basis for a public exhibition that Professor Morisi curated at the Centre Albert Camus in Aix-en-Provence in 2012.

Albert Camus, le souci des autres (Classiques Garnier, 2013), her second book, investigated some of the ways in which Camus’s works and thought reject exclusion and establish a minimal threshold of the human. It showed that this author revives the polysemy, etymology, and mythology of “souci” (meaning both “care” and “concern”) while also highlighting the limits of such ethics and activism through a close examination of his journalism, fiction, correspondence, and public interventions. This essay was complemented by an edited volume on the broader question of Camus et l’éthique (Classiques Garnier, 2014).

At present, Professor Morisi is editing a volume entitled Death Sentences: Literature and State Killing (with Birte Christ) and completing the manuscript of a monograph that examines the relationships between poetics and ethics in Victor Hugo’s, Charles Baudelaire’s, and Albert Camus’s works centered on capital punishment. She is also beginning research on the representations of terrorism in modern and contemporary French and Francophone literature.  


Teaching and Research Supervision

For Prelims (1st year of study), Professor Morisi teaches the close reading of short texts and French narrative fiction (Papers III and IV).

At FHS level (2nd to 4th year of study), she teaches French and Francophone literature of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries on Paper VIII, some modern and contemporary “prescribed authors” on Paper XI, Papers XII on Francophone literature and on 20th-century French poetry, and translation from English to French to 2nd- and 4th-year students.

She lectures on 19th- and 20th-century poetry and prose, including Charles Baudelaire, Albert Camus, Assia Djebar and “Writing Killing” in the modern period.

At the postgraduate level, she teaches seminars on Baudelaire and on Francophone literature. She is currently co-supervising a doctorat on Camus and violence (at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales) and supervising MSt dissertations on 19th-, 20th-, and 21st-century literature whose topics intersect with her specialism. She welcomes prospective postgraduate students who wish to work in compatible research areas.

Background and Access to Higher Education

Professor Morisi was educated at non-selective state schools in France and graduated with a BA in English and an MA in American Literature from Université Paris VII-Denis Diderot. After obtaining an MA in French with a comparative literature thesis at Columbia University and an MA at Princeton University, she completed a PhD in French literature at Princeton and the Sorbonne.

She taught French and Francophone literature at the University of St Andrews before taking up a post first as Assistant Professor, then Associate Professor of French at the University of California. She joined Oxford in December 2016.

Having a particular interest in social diversity and widening access, she would be delighted to receive applications from outstanding students from a variety of schools, including non-selective state schools.

Undergraduate applicants who wish to know more about the study of modern languages at Oxford–and the various subject combinations that the University and every College offer–will find useful information here. For the study of French in particular, please see this webpage.  

Postgraduate applicants will find relevant information for modern languages in general here and for French in particular here.


Selected Publications

Books & edited collections

Book chapters

  • “Putting Pain to Paper: Victor Hugo’s New Abolitionist Poetics.” Death Sentences: Literature and State Killing. Eds Birte Christ and Ève Morisi. Oxford: Legenda, forthcoming.
  • “Staging the Limit: Albert Camus’s Just Assassins and the Il/legitimacy of Terrorism.” Terrorism and Literature. Ed. Peter Herman. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018. 263-282.
  • “Visages de ‘l’art et la douleur’ chez Camus.” Camus: l’artiste. Eds. Agnès Spiquel et al. Rennes: Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2015. 235-246.
  • “Théâtre de la justice et scènes de mort chez Camus.” Tout n’est-il que théâtre? Camus en scène. Ed. Jean-Louis Meunier. Le Pontet : Éditions A. Barthélémy, 2014. 103-124.
  • “Albert Camus, la morale et l’éthique.” Camus et l’éthique. Ed. Ève Morisi. Paris: Classiques Garnier, 2014. 9-29.
  • “European Visions in Albert Camus’s Abolitionism.” Visions of Europe. Interdisciplinary Contributions to Contemporary Cultural Debates. Eds. Anke S. Biendarra and Gail K. Hart. Berlin: Peter Lang, 2014. 121-137.
  • “La Misère au quotidien. Camus et la Kabylie.” Camus au quotidien. Eds. André Benhaïm and Aymeric Glacet. Lille : Presses Universitaires du Septentrion, 2013. 101-119.
  • “‘Poésie-boucherie.’ Baudelaire’s Aesthetics and Ethics of Execution.” Thinking Poetry: Philosophical Approaches to Nineteenth-Century French Poetry. Ed. Joseph Acquisto. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. 75-95.
  • “La Peine de mort dans les romans de Camus. Motif, mythe, éthique.” Albert Camus contre la peine de mort. Ed. Ève Morisi. Paris: Éditions Gallimard, 2011. 255-327.
  • “Le(s) Sens d’un plagiat baudelairien : ‘Le Flambeau Vivant’ et ‘To Helen’ (1848) d’Edgar A. Poe.” Les Cinq Sens et les sensations: Lexicographie contrastive. Ed. A.M. Laurian. Collection Études Contrastives 8. Berne: Peter Lang, 2007. 183-197.

Journal articles

  • “Baudelaire et Camus : penser la peine de mort.” La Revue des Lettres Modernes Série Albert Camus 23. Paris : Lettres Modernes Minard / Classiques Garnier, 2014: 263-81.
  • “To Kill A Human Being: Camus And Capital Punishment.” Special Issue: A Centennial Celebration of Albert Camus. Ed. Robert Zaretsky. The South Central Review (journal of South Central MLA, Johns Hopkins UP) 31.3 (Fall 2014): 43-63.
  • “L’Infanticide de la Médée cornélienne, ou le mal(e)-être héroïque.” La Revue du Paon d’Héra 5, spécial Médée 1/2 (Winter 2009): 93-111.
  • “The OuLiPoe, or Constraint and (Contre-)Performance : ‘The Philosophy of Composition’ and the Oulipian Manifestos.” Comparative Literature 60 (Spring 2008): 107-124.
  • “Camus hospitalier? Camus fraternel? Les Impossibilités de ‘L’Hôte’ dans le contexte colonial.” French Forum 32 (Winter 2007): 153-69.
  • “‘À une dame créole’ de Charles Baudelaire : de l’ambiguïté colonialiste à l’ambiguïté plurielle.” Nineteenth-Century French Studies 35 (Spring/Summer 2007): 547-57.   


Selected Awards and Prizes

  • European Institutes for Advanced Study (EURIAS) Fellowship, Institut d’Études Avancées de Paris, 2015-2016
  • Kirby Prize for best essay, South Central Modern Language Association, 2015
  • Laureate of Peter Lang Young UK Scholars Competition in French Studies, 2011 (declined)
  • Mary Isabel Sibley Fellowship. The Phi Beta Kappa Society, 2010-2011
  • Charlotte Elizabeth Procter Honorific Fellowship, Princeton University. 2009-2010
  • Laurance S. Rockefeller Graduate Prize Fellowship of the Center for Human Values, Princeton University. 2009-2010 
  • Alfred Foulet Teaching Award for Language Instruction. Princeton University, 2007-2008
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